John 1:29-30 - The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because He was before me.'"
What did Jesus look like? Countless artists have depicted Jesus, but every sketch, statue, and painting is only a guess as to how the Savior looked.
That's because 2,000 years ago when a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed, there were no cameras to record the event of a baby's birth. When Quirinius was governor of Syria, an imperial edict took the young family of a carpenter by the name of Joseph and his virgin wife, a very pregnant Mary, away from family and friends. They journeyed to a little town called Bethlehem, about 80 miles away from their familiar Galilean home. When the baby was born, it was in the only space available, a stable. His crib was a straw-stuffed manger.
There were no friends called in to "oooh" and "aaah" or offer their opinions as to whom the baby, God's Son, our Savior, resembled.
Without photograph or friend's opinion, we can be forgiven if we wonder what does Jesus look like.
What does our Heavenly Father look like?
A well-schooled student of theology will give a deep reply. He will say, "God is a Spirit, endowed with mind and will without a body." What does that mean? Well, we don't exactly know. So, the question remains: what does God look like?
Some years ago, a pastor asked his four-year-old Sunday school students that question. One child said, "God is tall. He looks like my daddy. He wears a jumpsuit on weekends and has a bald head."
Another, with a broad and detailed imagination, said, with confidence, "I think God is an old man with a long, gray beard, and He sits on a throne like the king of all mankind, and He drinks all the Dr. Pepper He wants."
The last student whispered, "I think God looks like Jesus. But I'll tell you a secret: I'm not sure, because I've never seen Him."
That child was more right than she knew. The truth is none of us have seen God.
That's why it's hard to say what any of the Persons of the Trinity looks like. That's why, when it comes to showing Jesus, there is great speculation and no consensus. Look at their renderings and you will see a Scandinavian Jesus, sporting blue eyes and blond hair. Others have shown Him black. Some have drawn him as an Indian -- both Asian and American. But no matter how He's shown, it's always an artist's guess.
And the question remains: what does Jesus look like?
To find out what Jesus looks like you have to go to Gethsemane and see, as it were, great drops of blood rolling down His face. Here Jesus looks committed to the cause of saving us. See Him beaten and lied about, and you will think His silence looks like dedication. Go to the cross and listen to Him forgive those who put Him there. Pay attention as He takes care of His mother and promises heaven to a sinner. There Jesus looks caring and compassionate. See Him on Easter Sunday as He speaks to Mary, and He will look like the bringer of hope.
Look closely, and you will see Jesus looks like these things and everything you need to be saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, there are many ways to see the Savior, but none is more accurate than the Baptizer's description: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world." May I always see Jesus that way. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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